Tag Archives: Ramen

Travel: Mutekiya Ramen 無敵家 in Tokyo

When my colleague first told (read incessantly nagged at) me to visit this ramen shop, I was doubtful. However, a trip to this small, narrow 20-seater ramen shop proved worthwhile.

The original Mutekiya Ramen Nikutama soup base was a 5/5 and easily surpassed my expectations. It was even better than my favourite ramen shops (Santouka, Keisuke, and Ippudo)! I also ordered the Umakara-men and it was surprisingly spicier than the ones I usually have in Singapore. I wonder if waiting in queue in the chilly night weather for 45 minutes did something to my taste buds…

The noodles were 4/5 for me; cooked perfectly al-dente but probably not suitable for those preferring a softer diet (i.e. my dinner companions).

The chargrilled roast pork was the highlight of the ramen bowl; the thick slices of well-seasoned meat had almost 50/50 lean-to-fat ratio so even when thoroughly cooked, the pork was still so tender and flavourful. It would be wise to order a second serving.

Ippudo SG @ Shaw Centre

Fans of the Ippudo brand will be thrilled to know that they have since opened their 5th outlet right in the heart of town! Located at the newly renovated wing of Shaw Centre (one level above I Want My Noodle), Ippudo @ Shaw bears similar touches to the other outlets with the open concept kitchen, where you can watch the chefs prepare your bowl of ramen and that centrepiece wall of red and white ramen bowls neatly arranged in rows and columns. And while certain items on the menu such as the Shiromaru Motoaji and Akamaru Shin-aji seem familiar, the Shaw outlet has also launched new otsumami (smaller dishes) and teppan (hot plate) dishes to complement their signature ramen.

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The Sides include options like Tako Wasabi (raw octopus), Beef Tataki and Goma Q (Japanese cucumber) that were all $6. We had the Crispy Corn and just like its name aptly describes it, it was crispy and crunchy. Lightly battered and then deep fried, these chopped corn on the cob was sprinkled with smoked paprika powder that almost deceived me into thinking I was munching on chips. A much healthier alternative though this was admittingly addictive.

KEISHOKEN Ramen Champion @ T3 Singapore Changi Airport

Words and photography by Frederick Goh

I am personally not exactly a soupy noodle kind of person. I do however have a soft spot for RAMEN and can confidently say that it is my only exception! So I was definitely excited in taking part in a tasting hosted by Ramen Champion at Changi Airport Terminal 3 which took place about 2 weeks back.

The outlet is not your typical Japanese Ramen restaurant. It is designed to replicate the Ramen Museum in Yokohama, Japan. In addition, the event was organised in light of a new contender to the outlet – Chef Kazuo Sukuraoka.

You might be wondering, why the term ‘contender’? Uniquely, Ramen Champion hosts an annual event whereby accomplished ramen chefs pit against each other to find out who is the best. Due to the overwhelming success of Ultimate Ramen Champion 2011, this competition is being now held for the second year running. Patrons are invited to vote for their favourite ramen!

Chef Kazuo Sukuroaka, owner of 15 restaurants in Japan, introduces his ramen from Gunma Prefecture. Under the brand name Keishoken, he uses the concept of ‘Colours’ as inspiration for his ramen.

Read on and you’ll find out why.

Marukin Ramen @ Scotts Square | NOW CLOSED

It’s no big secret that Singaporeans love their ramen. Judging from the onslaught of ramen food chains that have been opening up everywhere across the island with most joints nearly and almost always full house during lunch and dinner times. Why, the most commercialized Ajisen Ramen at Takashimaya is even crowded at tea time! So when Marukin Ramen decided to open their 12th global outlet at the basement of Scotts Square, it came as no surprise that this Tokyo famous ramen chain-restaurant would be welcomed with open arms in our ramen-crazed country.

Armed with the secret weapon of serving up chicken-based soup broth for their ramen instead of the usual pork-based and drawing on the collagen richness of this special broth, Marukin Ramen is certainly a stand out from the rest. Our Muslim friends will also be happy to know that Marukin is in the process of getting Halal certification as well and when it is approved, they too will be able to enjoy a nutritious and delicious bowl of ramen here.

Starting with some appetizers and side dishes on the menu, the Marukin potato salad was definitely appealing in cuteness and colour. A sure hit with the kids, this salad of mashed potatoes was light, tasty and not too filling.

The Karaage (deep fried chicken), a usual suspect at most Japanese restaurants was fried to the right amount of crispiness and smelled really good when it arrived at our table. Unfortunately, we felt that a little too much oil may have been used and it tasted a tad too greasy.

Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin @ JCube


Tokyo’s 85-year-old specialty Tonkatsu restaurant- Ginza Bairin, has recently opened its second outlet at JCube! (Their flagship store opened in 2009 at B4 of Ion Orchard)

Established in 1927 by founder Nobukatsu Shibuya, Ginza Bairin is the very first Tonkatsu restaurant ever launched in Ginza Japan. Today, the fast food restaurant chain is led by Masaya Shibuya, the great grandson and third generation owner of Ginza Bairin.

Together with a few other food bloggers, I had the opportunity of taking a trip down memory lane as we tried various new additions to the Ginza Bairin menu that had been created over the years.

We kicked started the evening with the Tonkatsu Sandwich (1932/Aug) – $9.10. Touted as the “Original Katsu Sandwich”, the Tonkatsu sandwich at Ginza Bairin is one of Nobukatsu-san’s most famous creations. It was created when there was a severe shortage of rice after World War II and he had an idea to serve Tonkatsu with bread in place of rice. And so because the Tonkatsu Sandwich was such a huge hit with the locals, it became a signature item on the menu.

Packaged in its custom made purple coloured box, you get four sandwiches with each serve. The crispiness of the Tonkatsu (Japanese breaded pork cutlets) which was juicy and not oily at all was a great contrast to the cut slices of soft fresh white bread. Of course, not forgetting a spread of their home-made Tonkatsu sauce (a special blend of spices, vegetables and apple) to help bring out the natural sweetness and robust flavor of the pork. This is definitely a good portion to buy as takeaway or for sharing!

Next, we were each served a bowl of their Special Katsudon (1958/Apr) – $16.50. This yummy bowl of goodness had been awarded the No.1 Donburi in Japan. Featuring their signature pork katsu imbedded in omelet, this donburi comes with a runny side up egg yolk on the top for added oomph as you burst it and eat it all together with the fluffy rice underneath! Absolutely warm comfort food with every bite!